One person is dead after crashing a 2008 Toyota Tundra into a power pole at about 1:30 p.m. on the westbound side of Interstate 84 near Milepost 166 in Morrow County.
The crash also has knocked out power to 3,217 Umatilla Electric Cooperative members in portions of Boardman and Irrigon and the surrounding countryside, UEC Member Services Administrator Steve Meyers has reported.
The driver of the Toyota with Washington license plates, rear-ended a 2011 Chevrolet van while traveling east on Highway 730 about one-quarter mile from Interstate 84, said Oregon State Police Trooper Mark Amos.
No one was injured in the crash on Highway 730, Amos said.
Police said the driver of the pickup fled the scene and continued on to the interstate heading west. Witnesses told state police the pickup passed a semi-trailer and came back to the right lane. The driver tried to get off the road, hit the shoulder, rolled more than once and slid into the power pole with the drivers side door, Amos said.
Witnesses statements on the social networking site Facebook said the truck may have blown a tire, causing the vehicle to leave the road and smash into a power pole, knocking it down.
There is a lot of rubber on the road indicating the tire may have already been flat after the crash on 730, but we dont know for sure right now, said Steve Myren, Morrow County Undersheriff, Wednesday afternoon.
The victim was pronounced dead on the scene, Amos said. Police were still waiting for Umatilla Electric Cooperative employees to stabilize the power pole and lines before going in to identify the body.
The pole held a 115 kilovolt transmission line and the cooperative had restored power to customers at 3:04 p.m. according to a UEC press release.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has reported traffic delays in the area might last as long as 20 minutes. Transportation authorities have closed the Boardman-area rest stop because of the lack of power.